Kate Bornstein has cancer. The good news, direct from the team of skilled doctors on her case, is that the cancer is curable. However, the treatment plan that gives Kate the best chance of beating cancer is incredibly expensive. Kate has spent the past thirty years helping the rest of us Stay Alive—now it’s our turn to give back.
Let’s HELP KATE BORNSTEIN BEAT CANCER AND STAY ALIVE!
I’m sure most of you know who Kate Bornstein is (and if you don’t, you should). Please take a moment to donate a buck or ten to save her life. I’m sure she will appreciate it, and it will mean a lot to her and the community.
“Gender is used as a control mechanism... that's just wrong. Gender is never anything to struggle with; gender is something to play with. Once you're free of the rules that all these hierarchical, oppressive systems place on gender, that's the tricky part.”
“Instead of trying to fictionalise gender, let's talk about the moments in life when gender feels all too real. Because gender doesn't feel like drag when you're a young trans child begging your parents not to cut your hair or not to force you to wear that dress. And gender doesn't feel like a performance when, for the first time in your life, you feel safe and empowered enough to express yourself in ways that resonate with you, rather than remaining closeted for the benefit of others. And gender doesn't feel like a construct when you finally find that special person whose body, personality, identity, and energy feels like a perfect fit with yours. Let's stop trying to deconstruct gender into nonexistence, and instead start celebrating it as inexplicable, varied, profound and intricate.”
—Julia Serano, Performance Piece in Gender Outlaws by Kate Bornstein.
“Labels aren't all that bad when they're used consciously, but a major downside of using labels to describe an identity—even the labels we wear proudly as badges of courage—is that lables set up us-versus-them scenarios. The next generation of gender outlaws is seeking to dismantle us-versus-them. As a people, none of us deserves to hear the words “You’re not welcome here,” or “You’re not good enough,” or “You’re not real.” My Goddess, we just have to stop saying that to each other, all of us whose identity somehow hinges on gender or sexuality. We have to stop beating up on each other. ”
“The word of the doctor who proclaims a child's sex at birth somehow holds more sway over the reality of the body than the word of the person who inhibits it. Yet just as anyone can call me whatever they want, it is up to me to decide whether I care to answer.”
—Gwendolyn Ann Smith, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation
“We are entitled to our anger in response to this oppression: our anger is a message to ourselves that we need to get active and change something in order to survive. So we resist oppression, the violence- we resist the tendency of the culture to see us as a joke.”
“I can tell you this with certainty: You are worthy and capable of finding a way to live your life just the way you really are. And there are plenty of good people in the world who believe that a life like yours needs to be lived. If you work at being as fully you as you can possibly be, you will feel better.”
“Then there's gender attribution, whereby we look at somebody and say, "that's a man," or "that's a woman." And this is important because the way we percieve another's gender affects the way we relate to that person. Gender attribution is the sneaky one. It's the one we do all the time without thinking about it; kinda like driving a sixteen-wheeler down a crowded highway... without thinking about it.
In this culture, gender attribution, like gender assignment, is phallo-centric. That is, one is male until perceived otherwise. According to a study by Kessler and McKenna, one can extrapolate that it would take the presence of roughly four female cues to outweigh the presence of one male cue: one is assumed male until proven otherwise. That's one reason why many women today get "sirred" whereas very few men get called "ma'am.”
—Kate Bornstein, Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of US